Great dado for under $100

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Review by jstewart posted 02-24-2008 04:00 AM 14953 views 1 time favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Great dado for under $100 Great dado for under $100 Great dado for under $100 Click the pictures to enlarge them

I’ll start by saying that this is the only dado blade I’ve ever used. So, if you’re expecting a comparison to other dado blades, I’m not the person that can provide that for you.

A good friend of mine loaned his dado set (this one) to cut some channels in some 3/4” MDF. Since I hadn’t used a dado set before I decided to make a number of test cuts first. I had some scrap red oak and yellow pine laying around, so I used that for some practice. The SD208 cut through each of those woods like they were butter. I’m only using a 1 3/4 HP Delta contractor’s saw. So, if my saw can do it with ease, I’m sure most others can as well.

I was pleasantly surprised with how smooth the bottoms of the dadoes came out. The corners were very crisp. I was cutting dadoes in one piece of MDF to insert the other, making a dado joint. The first run didn’t fit quite right. The dadoes were a little narrow. Luckily the SD208 comes with a nice set of shims. They are full-circle shims, not the cool ones you can get from Veritas that are not full-circle, allowing them to be inserted onto the arbor after installing the blades and chippers. So, as long as you’re willing to take your time removing and reinserting chippers and shims, this dado had everything you need. (If you want the cool shims, it’s only another $10.) Once I got the thickness just right, I cut the final dadoes and put the joint together. Because the cuts had such smooth bottoms and crisp edges, the joint came out perfect. I couldn’t have been happier.

The set comes with two outer blades and a good number of chippers, like all dado sets. The chippers are all the same size, so don’t expect a 3/32” chipper that will make it easy to cut plywood thicknesses. For that you have to go with the SD508 from Freud, which is twice as much. I’ll just use a large number of shims to accomplish the widths I need. The carbide on the blades and chippers appeared to be nice and thick, probably allowing for a lot of use before needing any serious maintenance.

I was so pleased with this dado set that when it was time to buy my own set, I got the exact same one. Of course, if you buy blades from Freud, I think it’s hard to go wrong. (I’m sure this will entice a number of “Forrest is better” comments. I would hope Forrest makes better blades since they charge twice the price.)

So, in summary, this is a great dado set for the price you pay. Keep an eye out for sales on Amazon. Mine was 25% off, putting it around the $72 mark. Normally they tend to run about $95.

-- Joshua, Olathe, Kansas

View jstewart's profile


141 posts in 4978 days

11 comments so far

View DrSawdust's profile


323 posts in 4985 days

#1 posted 02-24-2008 04:18 AM

I use the same Dado Set and I have really liked it. I have been using it for almost 10 years, and it has never failed me.

Growing up my Dad had the infamous wobble dado blade :-) . Fortunately I learned from his frustrations to stay far away from the wobble dado blade.

-- Making sawdust is what I do best

View Dano's profile


222 posts in 4919 days

#2 posted 02-24-2008 04:45 AM

I have one too and it does cut better than my old Craftsman non-carbide blade. I looked around quite a bit before buying and this set gets good reviews everywhere.

-- Dan in Central Oklahoma, Able to turn good wood into saw dust in the blink of an eye!

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4875 days

#3 posted 02-24-2008 04:47 AM

Freud makes great dado sets, I have a SD508 and it’s great.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Woodchuck1957's profile


944 posts in 4651 days

#4 posted 02-24-2008 06:39 AM

I have the Freud SD208 also, I’d buy it again in a heartbeat.

View Alin Dobra's profile

Alin Dobra

351 posts in 4775 days

#5 posted 02-24-2008 03:44 PM

What impressed me the most about this dado set is that everything is high quality, including the shims (they included a wide variety of sizes so I can tune the width within a paper width of what I want). I think it is worth the extra 40$ on top of the Grizzly dado set.


-- -- Alin Dobra, Gainesville, Florida

View motthunter's profile


2141 posts in 4686 days

#6 posted 02-24-2008 04:10 PM

I have this set and use it for rough work on my radial arm saw. I really like it but I prefer my other set for more precise work on more expensive wood.

-- making sawdust....

View mjlauro's profile


244 posts in 4648 days

#7 posted 02-28-2008 04:08 AM

I use this set also and never had a problem with it, I bought it because of the price(not too high, not too low) and have been very satisfied, I have had a couple of tearout issues, but that was corrected with a feed rate adjustment.

View Jason's profile


5 posts in 4630 days

#8 posted 03-03-2008 10:15 PM

I bought the SD208 set last week, and spent the entire weekend using it—I’m impressed. Easy to use on my Bosch 4000-07 contractor saw, made ten or twelve cabinet doors (with slots and tenons), and a host of other small projects that had built up waiting for me to get a good dado set. I’d buy it again in a nanosecond.

-- Jason, Capitol Hill, Washington DC

View hasbeen99's profile


183 posts in 4426 days

#9 posted 01-07-2010 07:10 PM

Sounds great everyone. I just bought the SD206 for my little Craftsman saw. I’m sick of the Craftsman dado set chewing up my stock. I tried to make box-jointed drawers out of solid cherry for a jewelry chest I’m working on, and it was an utter disaster. Soft woods, plywood, and particle board is no better. The thing is just, well, a $25 dado set.

I’m really looking forward to a much better experience with the Freud. Thanks again everyone!

-- "The only thing that counts is faith, expressing itself in love." --Galatians 5:6

View David White's profile

David White

120 posts in 4167 days

#10 posted 12-23-2012 07:31 AM

Best dado stack I ever used.


View pintodeluxe's profile


6213 posts in 3700 days

#11 posted 12-23-2012 08:46 AM

It is a good set. You actually don’t use many shims to cut plywood sizes. I think most of my common setups use 2 shims. Works great for cutting tenons too!

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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